In this study, friction spot welding was used to join DP980 steel sheet. Four different ultra-hard tool materials were used with the objective of determining which tool material produced the highest number of acceptable-strength welds. Three of the tools were composed of various mixtures of polycrystalline cubic Boron Nitride (PCBN), Tungsten, and Rhenium. These materials are referred to herein as Q60, Q70, and Q80, the "Qxx" designation denoting the percentage of the volume of the tool material composed of PCBN. The fourth tool tested was composed entirely of PCBN. The Q70 tool produced approximately 1100 welds of acceptable strength before average weld strength decreased below the acceptable value, and the Q60 tool produced approximately 600 welds of acceptable strength. The Q80 material did not produce any welds with strengths above the acceptable value. However, Q80 produced the greatest number of welds of consistent strength. The PCBN tool, being the hardest, also did not produce any welds of acceptable strength, and failed at 257 welds. This failure is presumed to be a result of a tool/parameter mismatch which caused excessive loads on the tool. This research revealed that the weld parameters and tool materials used in this study will not generally provide for feasibility of implementation in industry. Further advances in weld parameter selection, tool geometry, and tool materials will be necessary in order to make friction spot joining of high strength steels an economically viable option.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Christopher Ridges, DP980, friction spot, Q60, Q70, Q80, PCBN